Over thirty years ago, the late Ron Daws, in his book, Self Made Olympian (World Publishing, 1974), made a observation that has stuck with me for three decades: in the last ten days before a championship, all one can do is hurt them self. Daws, a 1968 US Olympian in the marathon and a Lydiard disciple, could have been writing about the Berlin World Champs. All Alfons is writing about today are people getting injured or hoping to be ready for the WC. Dorian Scott, from Jamaica, out. Steve Hooker, the top pole vaulter in the world has an abductor issue.
But, the award for just bizarreness has to go to the Jamaican Athletic Federation. In their defense, they are being second guessed on all sides. There is the case of five athletes who were exonerated for using a drug that was not specifically on the WADA banned list, but drugs with all of the same ingredients were already on the list. Then the Federation decided to ban six of its athletes because they did not visit a training camp, to which, the IAAF had to get involved to sort this one out. This afternoon, several hundred media were registered for a press conference featuring the Jamaican Federation and perhaps someone with the initials UB. Just for comparison the guy with the initials TG had his press conference this morning. Something tells me that these two events, the 100 and 200 for men, will not be the easy races some have portrayed.
Donovan Bailey, the 1996 Olympic champion told us this afternoon that both guys are on fire, both guys want to win, and both guys are willing to put it all on the line to win the 100 and 200 meters. My take? No degrading either athlete, but I think that there will be two different winners in the 100 and 200 meters.
On the women’s distance side, the marathon is looking a battle between Tune and Goucher. The US women have not had a medal over the marathon since 1983 at the inaugural world championships. Paula Radcliffe is running the ING NYC Half this weekend to determine her fitness for the weekend of August 22.
Ethiopian distance goddess Tirunesh Dibaba has some health issues. The 10k/5k winner from Beijing, and Osaka 10k, winner, Dibaba is hoping to make a decision on Thursday night, so stay tuned.
Berlin 2009 huge banner on the Olympic Stadium, August 13, 2009, photo by Larry Eder
JAMAICA: Shot put record holder Dorian Scott tore his Achilles tendon during the shot put in Stockholm and has since had surgery to repair it. He is already on the road to recovery but will not compete in Berlin.
JAMAICA: Jamaica has canceled the exclusion of six of its top athletes, IAAF notified. Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Melaine Walker, Kaliese Spencer, Shericka Williams and Brigitte Foster-Hylton are allowed to compete at the World championships. The Jamaican federation did so also after the personal intervention of International Association of Athletics Federations president Lamine Diack. Diack agreed that it was the right of the national body to punish the athletes which included former world 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell and Olympic 100m and 400m hurdles champions Shelly-Ann Fraser and Melanie Walker. Writes David Martin. But he persuaded them that throwing them out of the championships was probably too strong a punishment and suggested other action be taken if it is deemed necessary. Paul Doyle who manages the athletes has insisted when questioned in the last few days that he had always been told that the camp was not compulsory and, all preferred to stay at a location they knew very well. IAAF General Secretary Pierre Weiss said that the IAAF â€šwanted to assure the quality of the World championships and this is why we negotiated with JAAA about their decision. The JAAA withdrew its letter there upon. It was a gratuitous action of the Jamaican delegation.â€˜ Former World record holder Asafa Powell feels that his chances have been â€šrobbedâ€˜ because of the theatre with the starting lists. “I wanted to be the best. But now it will be very difficult because the whole situation stressed meâ€˜, said the 26-year-old on Wednesday evening in Berlin.
AUSTRALIA: Media are reporting that Australian pole vault olympic winner Steve Hooker has doubts about his World championships because of muscular problems. The day he was elected captain of the Australian team he was only at 50 percent of his best level.â€˜ At the training on Monday he tore his abductor muscle in the right leg. The pole vaulter said it was difficult to be in perfect shape for the qualification on August 20th.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: The president of the UAE athletics federation Ahmed Al Kamali announced that an athlete who achieve the finals in Berlin from his team will recieve a bonus of 50 000 dirhans what is around 10 000 EUR.
JAPAN: Hammer thrower 2004 olympic winner Koji Murofushi will miss the world championship due to the delay of recovery from injuries, Susumu Takano, head of the Japan delegation, said Wednesday. He is undergoing rehab in the United States. Murofushi suffered his hip joint and lower back this year.
SPAIN: Osaka 800 m bronze winner Spanish runner Mayte Martinez decided to travel to Berlin despite her recent health problems. She still feels discomfort in her knee but it is not preventing her from running and will compete in Berlin.
ETHIOPIA: Ethiopiaâ€˜s double Olympic 5000m and 10000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba should be able recover from her latest injury setback to compete at the world championships, according to sources close to www.ethioberlin2009.com. The final decision as to whether Tirunesh will line up for her country on Saturday will be made by the teamâ€˜s coaches, officials, and the medical team on Thursday. If the world 5000m record holder does not make the intended recovery, Ethiopia will line up with only three athletes as the team cannot replace Tirunesh, who was given a wild card entry for the championships courtesy of her title two years ago in Osaka. The website www.ethioberlin2009.com understands that team officials are willing to continue waiting for Tirunesh to run the 5000m heats four days later, even though they can replace her with alternate Genzebe Dibaba. Another Ethiopian distance running star Kenenisa Bekele will wait until after the menâ€˜s 10000m final to decide whether he will take part in the 5000m at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany. In a telephone interview with www.ethioberlin2009.com, the 27-year old said, “I am entered for both races, but I will only decide after the 10000m on Monday. I have to run the 10000m and see how I feel first. I will then decide whether to run the 5000m.â€œ
MORE FROM IAAF CONGRESS
BERLIN (GER): At the 47th IAAF Congress 198 from 213 IAAF Members are taking part with 371 delegates. To false start rule is to add the situation in combined events where one false start will be allowed. But second false start will lead to disqualification. Also approved was the change in the organisation of World CC Championships in clear vote (132:22) in favor of every two years modus. That will start after 2010 event in Bydgoszcz, next world CC will be held in 2012. Commencing with the elections which will take place at the 48th IAAF Congress, Daegu, Korea in 2011, there will be a minimum of six women on the IAAF Council – currently four – without increasing the overall size of the Council. The IAAF Athletesâ€˜ Commission is composed of 19 members and for the six positions to be filled on the occasion of the 47th IAAF Congress in Berlin, Germany, nominations for candidates were requested from all IAAF Member Federations and by the deadline, six (6) candidatures were received to fill the six available positions. They are finnish long jump world medalist 2005 Tommi Evila, hurdler Nadine Faustin-Parker of Haiti, half-marathon world champion Lornah Kiplagat of Netherlands, French Osaka pole vault medalist Romain Mesnil, Kirgizstan 5000 m female runner Victoria Poludina and former hammer olympic and world winner Szymon Ziolkowski from Poland.
GOLF AND RUGBY
BERLIN (GER): Golf and rugby sevens are set to be added at the 2016 Olympics and womenâ€˜s boxing will be included at London 2012 it was decided by the International Olympic Committeeâ€˜s ruling Executive Board here today. Writes insidethegames.com
BERLIN/KINGSTON (JAM): The five Jamaican athletes who were recently cleared from doping violations can still take their place at the World Championships on Saturday. Writes Jamaica Gleaner. Attorney-at-law Lloyd Barnett, one of the lawyers representing the athletes, stated that pointing to Article 13.1 of the WADA Code which states that decisions made under rules adopted pursuant to the code remain in force despite an appeal, unless the appellate body orders otherwise. Dr Barnett pointed out that: â€žIt is, therefore, incorrect to say that at this time the athletes concerned are provisionally suspended. Second, the disciplinary panel has heard and relied on evidence, including the expert evidence of distinguished scientists and, therefore, the categorisation of their decision as â€šfoolishnessâ€˜, even if it were to be set aside on appeal, is in bad taste and disrespectful.â€œ Barnett did, however, make it clear that Dr Wright was right to point out the dangers of the athletes taking part in the team events. Meanwhile, retired judge of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ransford Langrin, will head Jamaicaâ€˜s Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal to review JADCOâ€˜s appeal. The tribunal will deal with the appeal of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission against the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel to free five Jamaican athletes of doping-related charges. Meanwhile the IAAF received the documentation about this case. The decision from IAAF will be made until the championships will begin.
BUDAPEST (HUN): Based on the latest All-Athletics World Rankings the medal distribution by countries at the World Championships is predicted as USA getting 25 medals ahead of Russia (18), Kenya (13) and Jamaica (12). Host country Germany is predicted as winning 5 medals, Great Britain four.
BERLIN (GER): Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said in interview with SID agency that so far 321 000 tickets have been sold for the World Championships what is clearly more than Helsinki and Osaka. He also said that the quality of the Olympic Stadium could be the base for possible future olympic bid.
NEW YORK (USA): World marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe a week before attempting to regain her World marathon title will test her fitness over the half distance in New York Marathon on Sunday. Radcliffe who won the 2005 global title in Helsinki four years ago is currently undecided about whether to chase another gold medal after recovering from a foot injury. The 35-year-old now plans gauging her fitness over the 13.1 mile New York course just a week before the championships marathon takes place in Berlin. Radcliffe in a press release, said: â€žAfter the race in New York, I will consult with my coaching and medical teams and we will make the final determination as to whether I am ready to run the marathon in Berlin. It is certainly my hope to compete there. Recently, my training has started to go very well. Iâ€˜m definitely ready to run a half-marathon, and the NYC Half-Marathon will give me important feedback about where I am,â€œ writes David Martin.
BERLIN (GER): Jamaica Observer reports that Usain Bolt will repeat his Beijing success at the upcoming 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, according to his coach Glen Mills. â€žIâ€˜m very happy with his present condition at this time although we had a couple â€šups and downâ€˜. We started late due to his post Beijing commitments and then we had the problem with his accident (April 29), but he has really come on well and heâ€˜s in great shape and Iâ€˜m confident that he will emulate what he did in Beijing,â€œ Mills told the Observer in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. â€žIâ€˜ve never seen the track at Berlinâ€˜s Olympic Stadium and I donâ€˜t think it is as fast as the one in Beijing, but that may not matter because right now heâ€˜s in great shape and heâ€˜s ready,â€œ Mills added. â€žBased on how heâ€˜s been running and his understanding of the 100, right now the start is a minor thing because he can overcome any difficulty at the start (based on) where he is now. So Iâ€˜m not worried about the start and neither is he. I think heâ€˜ll start consistently well by his standard and thatâ€˜s all he needs to do to achieve what we want,â€œ Mills added.
NAIROBI (KEN): Kenyaâ€˜s long distance runners will bring their own milk to the World championships. Since the team met three weeks ago at a preparation camp, every athlete gets one package of milk every day. Drinking their home milk – in combination with talent and a lot of training – is supposed to be the reason for the success of Kenyaâ€˜s long distance runners.
SPLIT (CRO): Blanka Vlasic is relaxing at home in Croatia before travelling to the World championships: â€šI try to empty my head and chillâ€˜, said the 25-year-old high jumper who wants to defend her title in Berlin.
COTTBUS (GER): World and olympic winner in discus Estonian Gerd Kanter together with his training partners Mart Israel and Egyptian record holder Omar El Ghazaly have been training in Cottbus since August 4 and will stay here until August 16th. Then they will got to Berlin for their event. These three are the members of Global Throwing group of coach Vesteinn Hafsteinsson. All three have a realistic chance to be in the final, says the coach. He points out that the training in Cottbus has been going really well for all of them and they are ready.
MOSCOW (RUS): Russian Athletics website informs about the dates of IAAF Indoor Permit Meetings in 2010. This dates were approved by IAAF Council and the indoor calender is of course affected by Winter Olympic Games in February 2010. Russian Winter as top indoor meet changed its traditional end of January date to first February weekend because of the possible participation of Yelena Isinbayeva. The dates: Jan 29 New York, Jan 31 Karlsruhe, Feb 6 Stuttgart, Feb 7 Moscow, Feb 10 Stockholm, Feb 13 Valencia, Feb 14 Gent, Feb 20 Birmingham, Feb 27 Athens, Mar 5 Lievin.
MOSCOW (RUS): Russian olympic silver medalist Mariya Abakumova said for Russian media that she will try hard to beat Czech world record holder Barbora Spotakova in Berlin. â€žI want to win and will try hard for that. But for me the main favorite is the home thrower Christina Obergfoll. To win you will need to beat her. When I will do that I will be the world champion,â€œ said Abakumova for the Russian media. Abakumova met with Spotakova twice this year and won in Ostrava and lost to her in Leiria. With Obergfoll they clashed three times, Abakumova won in Ostrava but lost in Halle and Leiria.
MONTE CARLO (MON): Sportscal.com informs that IAAF has launched a tender for European and African TV rights of future World Championships.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Another star announced for Van Damme Memorial in Brussels, the last meeting of AF Golden League on Sep 4 is the world champion at 400 m Jeremy Wariner. His aim will be to break the stadium record which is 44.06 from 1998 as his mentor and agent Michael Johnson achieved it. Wariner already won twice in Brussels (44.29 in 2006 and 44.44 in 2008). Remaining to sell are 6000 tickets from the 47 000 capacity.
BERLIN (GER): The German Federation, DLV, in cooperation with the IAAF will be carrying out a major Biomechanics Project during the World Championships. The aim of the project is to continue the international work in the field of biomechanics of the past years, in order to support athletes and coaches in optimization and improvement of their training and competition performance. The finals of all events will be covered by the project, except combined events. For sprint, hurdles, relays and running events split times will be analysed, and along with the race distributions will be shown in graphics. For Long Jump, Triple Jump and Pole Vault the distribution of run-up speed will be measured and calculated by LAVEG laser equipment. High Jump and all throwing events will have detailed analysis of the techniques (e.g. angles, velocities, time based structure of the movement etcâ€¦)
NEUBRANDENBURG (GER): Shot putter Petra Lammert hopes for comeback in winter. The European indoors champion had her arm operated and wears a plaster at the moment. She will only watch the World championships and not comptete there. The 25-year-old hopes to take part in smaller competitions from January on.
VIENNA (AUT, Aug 11): 100m sprinter Bettina Mueller-Weissina will not compete at the World championships in Berlin because she was only able to run 11,81s at a final test on Tuesday evening in Vienna. The Austrian Athletics Federation had expected a sub-11,50s time.
DUSSELDORF (GER, Aug 10): At local meet some World participants tested their shape. Canadian Jarred Connaughton clocked 20.68 (+0.4) at 200 m and with his team mates they sped to solid 38.65 in the 4×100 m ahead of Australia (39.33). Scott Martin achieved 19.87 in shot put. Solid 300 m effort by Canadian sprinter Adrienne Power in 36.65. World indoor champion Tamsyn Lewis tested herself again in her new event 400 m hurdles with 56.81.
TEHRAN (IRI, Aug 6-7): During third stage of National Club Championships Mohammad Rabbani improved the pole vault national record to 536 and Behrouz Sistanipour leaped to good 790 in long jump. Discus throwers achieved again 60+ marks. Mohammad Samimi 62.80 and Mahmoud Samimi 61.54. Interestingly only two athletes have been selected for Berlin. Middle distance runner Sajjad Moradi and shot putter Leyla Rajabi who is former Belarus athlete. For example none of excellent throwers (Nikfar, Hadadi, Mohammad & Mahmoud Samimi) were selected. Points out Heinrich Hubbeling.
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